Bill Clifton / Hedy West

Getting Folk out of the Country

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This unusual collaboration between two veterans of the folk revival arose when guitarist/autoharpist/vocalist Bill Clifton, formerly leader of the bluegrass band the Dixie Mountain Boys, recorded these tracks with singer/guitarist/banjoist Hedy West in London in 1972. West had made some folk albums in the '60s, and this set of 12 songs is pretty much in the style of that decade's folk revival, if perhaps with more modern fidelity than folk LPs usually boasted in the early '60s. While Clifton does take the occasional lead and harmony vocal, West is the dominant singer on this set of mostly traditional material, often with an Appalachian folk (and occasionally bluegrass) feel. Though the tracks more often than not feature both Clifton and West (and occasionally mandolinist Andrew Townend), it's not quite an all-out collaborative effort, as Clifton's not present on four tracks, and West isn't on "Mary of the Wild Moor." West's plaintive vocals are the strongest element of this straightforward folk set, first issued as an LP in Germany in 1974, and reissued on CD in 2010.

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